1382. Turnix pugnax

1382. Turnix pugnax.

The Bustard-Quail.

Hemipodius pugnax, Temm. Pig. et Gall, iii, pp. 612, 754 (1815). Hemipodius pugnax et taigoor, Sykes, P. Z. S. 1832, p. 155. Hemipodius plumbipes, Hodgs. Beng. Spurt. Mag., May 1837, p. 346. Hemipodius atrogularis, Eyton, P. Z. S. 1839, p. 107. Turnix ocellatus, apud Blyth, Cat. p. 255; Jerdon, B. I. iii, p. 597 ; Godw.-Aust. J. A. S. B. xliii, pt. 2, p. 174 (nec Scop.). Turnix taigoor, Jerdon, B. I. iii, p. 595; Stoliczka, J. A. S. B. xii, pt. 2, p. 250; Butler, S. F. iv, p. 7 ; v, p. 231; ix, p. 424; Ball, S. F. vii, p. 226; Hume & Marsh. Game B. ii, p. 169, pl.; Hume, Cat. no. 832; Legge, Birds Ceyl. p. 761 ; Vidal, S. F. ix p. 77 ; Davison, S. F. x, p. 412 ; Macgregor, ibid. p. 441; Barnes Birds Bom. p. 317; Ogilvie Grant, Ibis, 1889, p. 455; id. Cat. B. M. xxii, p. 530 ; Oates in Hume's N. & E. 2nd ed. iii, p. 367 Munn, Ibis, 1894, p. 74 (with figure of chick). Turnix pugnax, Blyth, Ibis, 1867, p. 161; Stoliczka, J. A. S. B. xxxix, pt. 2, p. 333; Hume & Oates, S. F. iii, p. 178; Hume, N. & E. p. 553; Ogilvie Grant, Ibis, 1889, p. 458; id. (T. taigooris subsp.) Cat. B. M. xxii, p. 534. Turnix plumbipes, Blyth & Wald. Birds Burm. p. 152; Hume & Dav. S. F. vi, pp. 450, 521; Hume, Cut. no. 833; Scully, S. F. viii, p. 350 ; Gammie, ibid. p. 453 ; Hume & Marsh. Game B. ii, p. 177, pl.; Oates, B. B. ii, p. 337; Hume, S. F. xi, p. 310.

Gulu, Gundln, Salui-gundru, H.; Koladu , Pared , Tel.; Ankadeh , Kurung Kadeh , Tam.; Burma, Katnagiri; Kare-haki, Can. (Mysore); Timok, Lepcha; Ngon, Burm.

Coloration. Male. General colour of upper parts brown, varying from bright chestnut to dark greyish; a more or less distinct pale stripe down the middle of the crown ; supercilia, lores, and sides of head whitish, more or less speckled with black; feathers of crown black with brown or rufous edges, many of the dorsal feathers irregularly banded black and rufous and more or less edged on each side with white or whitish, generally having a black inner border, so as to form longitudinal bands or spots that are excessively variable; wing-coverts in part broadly barred black and buffy white ; quills dark brown ; outer webs of primaries with buffy-white borders, outer webs of secondaries with rufous or buff indentations ; chin and throat whitish ; breast barred black and buff; rest of lower parts brownish buff. In immature birds the black bars on the breast are represented by broad subterminal spots on the feathers.

Female. The chin, throat, and a variable area in the middle of the breast are black ; feathers of the sides of the head and of the median coronal band distinctly edged with black. Otherwise like the male.

Young birds show more markings, and especially more buff longitudinal lines, on the upper surface.

Bill dark slaty ; irides pale yellow ; legs plumbeous (Jerdon).

Length of male 6; tail 1.1; wing 3.2; tarsus .9; bill from gape .65. Length of female 6.5 ; tail 1.3 ; wing 3.5.

By Jerdon and Hume the Himalayan and Burmese race of this Hemipode was separated as T. ocellatus or T. plumbipeg from the Indian form, T. taigoor. The lattef is much more rufous, the former greyer and darker. Birds from Sikhim are especially dark and rather large. The rufous birds, too, appear to retain the buff lines and spots on the back more than the dark Eastern specimens. Mr. Ogilvie Grant, who, like Blyth, unites the two, has shown that the dark birds are found in localities where the rainfall is heavy, but some rufous specimens are from the South Konkan. Undoubtedly, however, the two pass completely into each other some Burmese specimens are identical with Indian; and although Mr. Grant keeps certain Japanese and Ceylonese skins as a distinct subspecies called T. pugnax, on account of a tendency to a rufous collar in the female, the difference appears of no specific importance, for the Ceylonese; birds are very similar to some from S. India. I follow Blyth and unite all these races. The true T. ocellata proves to be a Philippine species.

Distribution. Throughout India, Ceylon, and Burma, except on the higher hills, in dense forests, and in deserts. This species has not been observed in Sind or the Punjab, though it occurs in Cutch and Rajputana. It ascends the Eastern Himalayas to about 7000 feet, but it has not been met with at so great an elevation to the westward, and in Southern India and Ceylon it keeps chiefly to the plains and lower hills. Beyond Indian limits it ranges to the Malay Peninsula, Sumatra, Java, Siam, Southern China, Formosa, and the Loo-choo Islands.

Habits, &c. The principal habits have been described under the genus. The breeding-season in most parts of India and Burma is in the rainy season, but in Ceylon from February to May, according to Legge. The hollow in the ground used as a nest is sometimes without lining, sometimes lined and covered above with a slight dome of dry grass, and with a lateral entrance. The eggs, four (sometimes more) in number, are greyish striped with reddish, and usually blotched with brown, and measure about .94 by .78.

The Fauna Of British India, Including Ceylon And Burma-birds
Blanford, William Thomas, ed. The Fauna of British India: Including Ceylon and Burma. Vol. 4. 1898.
Title in Book: 
1382. Turnix pugnax
Book Author: 
William Thomas Blanford
Page No: 
Common name: 
Bustard Quail
Turnix suscitator rufilatus
Vol. 4
Term name: 

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